RICH INTERVIEWS: Davi Leon Dias Artist for Aberrant

First Comics News: Why did you want to illustrate “Aberrant”?

Davi Leon Dias: After the conclusion of the Circle of Death book, created by Rylend Grant, he offered me the opportunity to work on this new project called Aberrant. One of the reasons why I accepted was because I really like the how Rylend creates and develops the story and the script. The scripts always have so many details and references and those kind of things are really helpful in the process of creating the pages of the book. The other reason was because he showed me the first issue of Aberrant and I loved the story. The richness of details of each character and their roles called my attention. I always liked comic books and stories with superpowers, investigation, and lots of action and this project has all of that. The art made by Zsombro Huszka in the first issue is amazing and takes the audience right into the story. I accepted taking part of the project immediately but I must confess that I got a little nervous with the responsibility of giving continuity to such fantastic story, but everything went really well and I’m pleased with the results.

1st: How did you become so good at drawing huge muscles and who is that muscular guy in the hood?

Davi: I believe that the goal of a comic book artist is always to evolve in the maximum artistic elements possible like perspective, storytelling, and so on. To be able to do that the artist needs to study a lot, to read anatomy books, participate in workshops, practice a lot. This way the artist starts to get more confident and also more agile when creating a massive muscular character for instance. Another interesting thing is that the style of drawing from some artists called my attention and helped me to develop and improve my studies. One of the greatest artists that I admire and who always helped me to improve artistically is the great artist and friend Eddy Barrows who works for DC Comics nowadays. I had the immense opportunity to be in one of the workshops he gave and I got invaluable lessons.

The muscular guy in the hood is the character called Rook in the Aberrant book. He is a character who went through some kind of experiment (I need to be careful to do not give spoilers, hehe) and he has a tremendous strength, being able to destroy anything that gets in his way. I consider him as one of the fundamental elements in the entire Aberrant story. Because of the great quality of details given by Rylend, throughout the story, the audience will understand the true origin of the characters and their true reasons to be what they are in the present days. I really like to draw this guy in particular.

1st: Do you prefer drawing the male or female form?

Davi: When I was studying comics and doing some test pages I had the opportunity to choose the characters that I liked the most and immediately comes to mind characters like Thor, Daredevil, Wolverine. Because of those choices and because of the great number of test pages I did, of course, it became easier to draw them. But I also like to draw female characters like Jessica Jones and Wonder Woman.

1st: What was your reaction when you learned you were the new artist on “Aberrant”?

Davi: At the beginning my excitement was huge. To be able to work with comics is my big dream. I was battling it out, studying for years to have an opportunity to work for the US comics industry because it has a massive audience and such incredible professionals. I don’t like much to compare things but, for instance, here in Brazil, the comics industry doesn’t receive the same kind of attention and investment as in the United States. So much so that when the project of Circle of Death book was finished I thought “now it’s over”, “maybe some other time I might get another call”, but I’m glad it didn’t over there. I got the invitation from Rylend to do 9 issues (from issue 2 to 10) and now I’m really pleased drawing the Aberrant book and being part of this great creative team.

1st: Why is William Dee Williams on a cover of “Aberrant” and in an ad?

Davi: I think this is a concept of the Aberrant book that Rylend developed. If you pay attention throughout the story, you will recognize a few memorable things from the 80’s. I think this is a fantastic idea and I believe that the reason why Rylend asked me to draw William was to highlight the hallmark of that epoch even more.

1st: How do you visualize the characters when you are drawing?

Davi: Well… when I receive a script, I usually read it 3 times. The first reading would be like I was reading a book in a quick sort of way, to get myself used to the acting of the characters, and to the orientation of the story. The second reading takes more time and I read it trying to visualize it like it was a movie or a TV series. I keep imagining where the camera should be, how the orientation is, the feeling the pages should convey to the reader, which part of each page should be the most impacting one, the facial and body language of the characters that are going to highlight the story and so on. The third reading comes with this mental image developed in the 2nd reading but now I think about inside the panels of the pages. This way I’m able to start visualizing the panels that need to be highlighted, more dynamics, always looking for the quality of the storytelling.

1st: In drawing David in “Aberrant” what characteristics do you try to bring out?

Davi: David is a tough guy, who went through some traumas and now he is looking for some answers. When I draw him I always remember this phrase, and to keep those characteristics in evidence is necessary to bring elements that are related to his personality. Then, like in a brainstorm, I keep thinking about how he would dress, how he would walk, talk, fight. This way I’m able to give more life to the character and I think it is a fundamental visual resource to the story.

1st: What is the main selling point of “Aberrant”?

Davi: I think one of the things that is going to call the attention is the physical and psychological traits of the characters. There are times, for instance, when you are going to think that two characters are never going to create empathy because they are really different from each other. But then you are taken by surprise. Particularly it is one of the things that I like the most about this comic book.

1st: What comic that you have not worked on would you most like to and why?

Davi: I think all the comics artists dream about drawing a well-known character, like those from Marvel or DC comics. I have friends who work for those companies and I see how those characters get awesome in their hands. The characters that I like the most to draw are the nocturnal ones like Batman and Daredevil. These characters, in particular, are involved in investigative plots and, sometimes, supernatural. And I like that kind of creative segment. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll receive an invitation to draw these characters.

1st: What was your “Night Hunters” graphic novel about and which character in it was your favorite to draw?

Davi: One of the things I had as a goal when I was studying the process of creating comics was to create my own comic book. Then I thought about what is the subject that I like the most. This was when Night Hunters came to life. It’s a story that happens in a fantasy supernatural universe where 7 guardians protect a populated island from dark and evil spiritual forces. My favorite character is Gerrat Urich who is a child in this issue, still learning the ritualistic foundations to become a guardian of the moon.

1st: “Circle of Death” why did you love working on this?

Davi: I have a special feeling for Circle of Death. First, because it’s the first comic book that I drew to be published in the United States. A dream I have for many years coming true at that moment. Second because it’s a well-explored story and reminded me of a movie that I like a lot called Snatch. There are some crazy moments and sometimes funny. Besides, I liked a lot of each and every character. I remember that sometimes I asked Rylend (the writer and creator) what was going to happen with a certain character because the character got really great in the story.

1st: What aberrant superpower would you like to have and why?

Davi: I didn’t see this aberrant superpower in the book yet, but if I have the freedom to choose and I would choose the teleportation. Like Nightcrawler from Marvel. You could know so many places in just a few seconds, you would be able to quickly rescue people from dangerous situations, and know new people. I think I would go to every comic convention in the world (laughs).

1stHow do you spend your free time if you have any?

Davi: I like to watch movies and TV series, talk to my friends at a cool snack-bar. But what I like to do the most is to spend time with my family, especially when I’m playing with my son. The time freezes when I’m with him.

1st: Anything to say to those who love your art?

Davi: I just have to thank everyone. All of my study, dedication, and effort are to your readers. I hope you like the results of the book and please, don’t let talk with me through any social media. I’ll be really glad to know you all.

About Author